Case Study: Elections TranslationsIncrease Voter Turnout and Equity
In 2000, the U.S. Census determined there was a large enough portion of limited English Proficient (LEP) individuals in one western state that voting materials should be translated into additional languages.
This state’s elections office has a mission to preserve the integrity of its elections, meaning everyone who has the right to vote, can. They work diligently to keep this mission alive. Their robust programs, linguistic integration and workflow enhancements are crucial for managing such a complex office while meeting this mission. Since 2018, this state’s elections office and Avantpage have partnered to ensure all LEP individuals have meaningful access to the voting process.
Election officials and their teams have more than enough to keep them busy, all of which must be done to the utmost integrity. Processes can get overly complicated quickly. The office needed a more efficient way to meet language access needs throughout their elections process while not adding overhead for stakeholders involved. Furthermore, they wanted to continue to collaborate with local community partners in Spanish, Vietnamese, and Chinese, while involving the subject matter expertise of Avantpage.
Their care and dedication to LEP communities include thorough quality assurance practices to ensure an effective community outreach. These communications reach over 7% of the state’s population who are LEP individuals to encourage current and future voter turnout. Without the proper messaging, they risk an election result that does not meet their mission to provide equitable access to the elections process for all.
The state has continued to lead the way through many initiatives that encourage election participation for all eligible individuals. They use proactive measures such as voting by mail, increased polling locations, the right to vote at any polling center, a future voter program, and other voter-oriented initiatives. Programs like these have been shown to increase voter turnout by offering multiple voting options and providing cultural and linguistically appropriate outreach that meets the diverse needs of residents. Furthermore, this state is one of only five U.S. states that practices mailing out ballots to all registered voters for all elections.
With increased communications, programs, and multicultural outreach needs, they needed a way to work efficiently through the elections process, despite the many stakeholders, touchpoints, and collaborators involved. It was key to trust Avantpage with their election translations and integrate collaboration as a true partnership. The partnership meant they would be able to continue with the quality of communications their residents deserve while streamlining what could be a complicated and time-consuming translation process.
The partnership needed to ensure process optimization while maintaining high-quality translations from internal and external collaborators. To achieve this, Avantpage developed a direct integration into our technologies and election translations processes that included:
- Centralizing project management through our AvantPortal. All files, information, communications, email notifications, and more are in one place. A centralized location ensures stakeholders from different departments have access to all relevant information. This helps to simplify potential areas that would overwise take more time across teams and platforms.
- Integrating their internal community collaborators with Avantpage’s systems and production workflows. Integration means internal and external collaborators can work together with our tried-and-true processes and technologies for the highest quality linguistic output.
Lastly, this method allows for best practices in translation services, as Avantpage project managers provide subject matter expertise for translation and quality procedures, terminology management, and other required linguistic assets. Avantpage project and account managers also meet regularly with this state office to discuss continuous improvement and strategic planning.
Avantpage teams and technology were used to leverage a unified touchpoint for numerous individuals and departments, bringing together all the information in one precise location to streamline the project management despite highly complex translation projects. As a result, they continue to:
- Expand their translations to reach federally required languages (Chinese, Vietnamese, and Spanish) and furthermore to include Korean
- Leverage social media translations through 4 platforms, and over half of the messaging going out was published in non-English languages.
- Provide nearly 85,000 multilingual voters’ pamphlets statewide for the Primary
Integrating directly into Avantpage’s technology and processes were able to reduce overhead and save time for employees while continuing on track with the highly specialized nature of election translations. Bravo!